Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Susan Meiselas

           EL SALVADOR. Cabanas. 1983. Soldiers Under Fire
Soldiers Searching Bus Passengers, Northern Highway, El Salvador 1980

Susan Meiselas was born in 1948 in Maryland.  She is a freelance photographer who is probably best known for her work in El Salvador, as she has published some books with these photos.  It was in 1981 that she visited a village in El Salvador that was destroyed by the armed forces.  She took pictures of this, called the El Mozote Massacre- "The El Mozote Massacre took place in the village of El Mozote, in Morazán department, El Salvador, on December 11, 1981, when Salvadoran armed forces trained by the United States military killed at least 1000 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the Salvadoran Civil War".  Now knowing what the El Mozote Massacre was and stood for, I believe Susan's images are even stronger in my mind.  I do not think I would have the ability to stand by and photograph these men at war.  I wonder is she was in any real danger when shooting in the trench for "Soldiers Under Fire".  And the men patting down the civilians in "Soldiers Searching Bus Passengers" would scare me enough to hide my camera.  This shot that she made, while not pointing directly at the people, creates an even more eerie and secretive effect for such a situation.  They are only shadows, but they are probably doing a lot of harm. 

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